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Saturday, 1 November 2014

TONIGHT: Erin C. MacLeod launches Visions of Zion

Join tonight, Saturday, November 1 at 7 p.m. for the Montreal book launch for Erin C. MacLeod's "Visions of Zion: Ethiopians and Rastafari in the Search for the Promised Land" (NYU Press)! Books will be available for sale and signing!

It has been seven years in the making, but Erin's book is finally here. An interesting and engaging look at a fascinating topic, "Visions of Zion" is a book that looks at the Ethiopian view of the Rastafarian movement. Come and celebrate!


“An engaging, probing, and definitive account of Ethiopia's response to its Rastafarian 'repatriates.' This book is admirably human in its approach to the lofty subjects of immigration and national identity."
—Emily Raboteau, author of Searching for Zion: The Quest for Home in the African Diaspora

In reggae song after reggae song Bob Marley and other reggae singers speak of the Promised Land of Ethiopia. “Repatriation is a must!” they cry. The Rastafari have been travelling to Ethiopia since the movement originated in Jamaica in 1930s. They consider it the Promised Land, and repatriation is a cornerstone of their faith. Though Ethiopians see Rastafari as immigrants, the Rastafari see themselves as returning members of the Ethiopian diaspora. In Visions of Zion, Erin C. MacLeod offers the first in-depth investigation into how Ethiopians perceive Rastafari and Rastafarians within Ethiopia and the role this unique immigrant community plays within Ethiopian society.

Rastafari are unusual among migrants, basing their movements on spiritual rather than economic choices. This volume offers those who study the movement a broader understanding of the implications of repatriation. Taking the Ethiopian perspective into account, it argues that migrant and diaspora identities are the products of negotiation, and it illuminates the implications of this negotiation for concepts of citizenship, as well as for our understandings of pan-Africanism and south-south migration. Providing a rare look at migration to a non-Western country, this volume also fills a gap in the broader immigration studies literature.

Erin C. MacLeod holds a PhD in communications from McGill and has taught at Vanier College. She has also lectured at the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica and has worked in international development for Cuso International and Habitat for Humanity. She has written about music, popular culture and travel for the Montreal Gazette, Guardian UK, Wondering Sound, Toronto Star, Cult Montreal, Exclaim! and Pitchfork, among others.

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